Friday, January 30, 2009

CPSC Grants One Year Stay

Breaking News Today!

Today the CPSC granted a one year stay of certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products. The CPSC implemented the stay in order to buy time to finalize four proposed rules which could relieve some materials from the lead testing and to fine tune the testing guidelines.

There are four areas that the stay does not apply:
  1. Lead in paint and other surface areas.
  2. Standards for full-size cribs, non full-size cribs and pacifiers.
  3. Ban on small parts.
  4. Lead content of metal components of children's jewelry.
Click here for the full article.

There is no doubt in my mind that we need to look at the products on our shelves and ask questions about all the unnecessary chemicals that we are exposing ourselves and our children to on a daily basis. Manufacturers that are more concerned about providing cheap plastic toys with little regard to their safety should be the ones that are punished not the manufacturers who care. This new law is a step in the right direction but it was given very little thought as to what the impact would be on smaller businesses and the homemade goods industry. Parents are becoming more and more aware of what to look out for in products. Those companies that are dedicated to providing safer products already test. They are proud to tell you that there product does not contain phthalates, BPA or lead. As a parent and a store owner, I ask you to support those businesses that care.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Baby Rattles

I am so excited about our new baby rattles. With all the plastic junk in the market it is so nice to be able to carry a line of wooden toys that is made in the U.S.A. Maple Landmark Woodcraft has been around since 1979. They are a family business dedicated to quality constructed toys and gifts. Companies like Maple Landmark have been doing it right all along. Their rattles are made from select hardwoods. They have non-toxic finishes and they offer a lifetime guarantee. When I think back about all the toys my kids have went through it makes me sad. What if I had bought a quality wooden rattle for my oldest daughter that I could have passed down to my younger two children? I would love to be able to tell my youngest daughter that she was playing with a toy that her older sister had when she was a baby. Although my kids are beyond the rattle stage, I am determined to really think about the purchases that I make. It is hard with a five year old that is bombarded with commercials. She wants everything that she sees on television. It is my job as a parent to teach my children the difference between quality and junk, wants and needs. It is also important that I teach them about the resources that are used to make a product. Our goal as a store is to bring healthier choices to parents. We also strive to find companies that are concerned about their impact on our environment. Maple Landmark is a great example of this mission. Where else do you find toys with a lifetime guarantee?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Evenflo High Chair Recall - Health Alert

Evenflo has recalled 95,000 high chairs because screws can become loose and fall out causing the seat back to suddenly fall back or detach. The high chair that is recalled is the Evenflo Majestic made before January 23, 2007.

Check the white label on the seat back for the production date and seat model. The following models are recalled:
3001395A, 3001583, 3001633A, 3001669, 3001700A, 3001713, 3001713A, 3001730A, 3001732, 3001732A, 3001733, 3001742, 3001742A, and 3001756

The CPSC recommends that parents and caregivers stop using the chair immediately. Contact Evenflo at (800) 233-5921 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday for a free repair kit. You can also visit for more information.

You can find the complete Consumer Report here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


If you are pregnant and you are struggling with coming up with the perfect name for your new one on the way, you have to check out Nymbler. Basically you type in a name that you like and it comes back with names it thinks you will love. I typed in the name Lily. This was my grandmother's name and I really liked it although my husband was not to fond of it. Needless to say we chose another name for our daughter, Maddie. In reality, the name Lily would have been way to gentle of a name for our head-strong little girl. Anyway, back to Nymbler. From the name Lily it came back with names like Stella, Ava, Olivia, Grace, Sadie and so on. Many of the names I really liked and probably would not have thought of on my own. You can specify if you want girl or boy names or both. It is a great tool and I recommend it highly over baby name books because it is so much more fun!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Moms Meet

Kiwi Magazine is one of my favorite resources for finding ways to live a greener and healthier lifestyle. The magazine is packed full of great articles and helpful tips. Recently, Kiwi has partnered with Earth's Best to create Mom's Meet. Mom's Meet provides the information, articles and ideas to help facilitate a mom gathering. Anyone can sign up to become a mom ambassador and start their own group. Each month, the ambassador is emailed a new topic of discussion. The ambassador takes this information and uses it to start discussions in their group. It is playgroup with a purpose. I think it is a great way for moms to share their green and healthy ideas and inspire others to try some new things. I am very excited about this opportunity and have personally signed up as an ambassador for this area. Look for more posts or entries on our calendar to find out about our first meeting!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Ask Questions Before You Buy!

The CPSC recently recalled the Munire "Newport Rubbed Black Cribs" and matching furniture because it violated the lead paint standard. This product is made in New Jersey not China. A child actually ingested the paint and was diagnosed with lead poisoning. Children are even more susceptible to the effects of lead poisoning and it may lead to lower intelligence and other serious health problems. Apparently the red paint under the black rubbed finish was the culprit. If you think that you may own one of these cribs or furniture pieces you can find out more information at the CPSC website.

Lead is not only found in products. There are other places that our children can be exposed without us even realizing it. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, there are over 16,000 industrial facilities across the country, including power plants, smelters and cement kilns, that emit lead into the air. This emissions eventually settle into soil and dust. Over 300,000 children today suffer from lead poisoning. For some ways to help reduce the chance of lead exposure the Natural Resources Defense Council suggests some simple steps. You can even locate your state to find out if there is a lead polluter near you.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Consignment Stores Are In the Clear!

I know that it may seem crazy that a new store would be excited that consignment stores will still be able to keep their doors open. After all, if people buy used clothing they are not buying new right? Just think of the impact if there was no where to take all your child's outgrown clothing and toys. Can you imagine the landfills? The fact of the matter is that we need both used and new stores to exist. I frequently buy used clothing for my children. My son goes through jeans at about a size a week. I would go broke trying to keep him in clothing. I am so excited that the CPSC has decided to exempt used products from the new lead requirements. It would have been silly for consignment stores to be forced to test used products to make sure they did not exceed the new limits. It would have put them out of business. Hopefully this is a good sign that the CPSC is moving towards making even more exemptions. For more information on this story click here.

New Blogger

Well I finally decided to jump into the blogging world. I had dabbled with it before through our site but it wasn't until I started blogging on other sites that I finally started to see the light. Basically, it is just another way for me to talk and if you have every met me---I love to talk! I love that moms all over this world are sharing their experiences and finding common ground with other like-minded moms. So here I am. I hope that you will find my blog to be a great place to learn about what is going on at our store and in our lives.

Preemie Onesie Drive

There are some things in life that we will just never understand. There are things that happen in people's lives that you know are just so unfair. What always interests me though is how a person comes out of a tragedy. Do they turn the negative into a positive. I was recently contacted by a lady by the name of Rachel Mays. This woman has suffered tremendously. Her daughter was born with a heart defect and lived in the NICU at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, NC for 4 months before passing away. In memory of her daughter she has started a Preemie Onesie Drive. She is hoping to get enough onesies to give to each family at this NICU. I think it is a wonderful thing that she is doing. When a baby comes early, families are not always prepared for their arrival. And with a baby in the hospital, they are often unable to leave to go shopping for those essentials. A nice blanket or outfit for their baby is a wonderful gift. We are happy to contribute to this cause.

For more information or see how you can donate, you can check out her website at

You can also watch a news story on it at

Storewide Clearance Sale

It is that time of year--time to clear out the shelves to make room for the new Spring lines that will be arriving soon. Both in the store and online we will be expanding our clothing line to bring in more adorable organic products. We will be carrying clothing up to 4T this Spring. We have added a new page to the site that includes all of our sale items. You will find great deals on diaper bags, winter clothing, skin care products, leg warmers and much, much more. These specials are available both online and in our local store.

Safer Products? At What Cost?

If you haven't heard yet, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 was signed into law this past year in August. The Act imposes stringent safety standards for consumer products. It specifically targets children's products and restricts the use of lead and phthalates in them. In addition, products that are subject to these new rules, will also have to be tested by an independent third-party. Exciting news--right? While it is great that our Federal Government is finally seeing the light and taking steps to remove harmful chemicals from children's products, there are some unfortunate unintended consequences for manufacturers and retailers.

What products will be included?

  • Any product intended for the use of children under the age of 12 and Child Care Articles, products intended for a child under the age of 3 for the purpose of sleeping, feeding, sucking or teething.
  • This is more than just toys. It could also include products such as educational materials, jewelry, books, clothing, game boards, etc.

What will be removed from products?
  • As of February 10, 2009, children's products cannot contain more than 600 parts per million of lead. For paint and surface coatings, as of August 14, 2009, the amount must be reduced from 600 parts per million to 90 parts per million.
  • As of February 10, 2009, three phthalates known as DEHP, DBP and BBP are prohibited in children's toys and childcare products in concentrations of more than 0.1%.

What other changes will the new law include?

  • Mandatory testing--as of November 12, 2008, the new general certification requirement goes into effect. This will require manufacturers to issue a "supplier's declaration of conformity". This basically says that the manufacturer has undergone a "reasonable testing program."
  • Third-party testing will be required in addition for all consumer products intended for use by children under the age of 12. Products will have to be tested by an independent third-party accredited testing lab. A certificate will be issued stating that the product meets all applicable Consumer Product Safety Commission requirements. The third-party testing will be phased in as follows:
    • December 22, 2008 - Lead Paint
    • January 2009 - Cribs and Pacifiers
    • February 2009 - Small parts
  • Tracking Labels will be required on all children's products as of August 14, 2009. The label will contain the source of the product, the date of manufacturer, etc.
  • Labeling Requirements for Advertising Toys and Games. If a cautionary statement regarding a choking hazard is required on a product due to small parts, balloons, marbles or small balls, the advertising of that product through the internet or catalog must also include the statement.
What does this mean for the consumer, the retailer, the manufacturer?
  • On the positive side for the consumer, this is a step in the right direction. After all, harmful chemicals are being reduced or removed. It will be easier to find out that a product is safe. However, due to the third-party testing requirements, some of their beloved products may disappear. Not because they are harmful but because the manufacturer is small and can't afford the hefty price of testing every product that they make. This includes even products made from natural materials.
  • For the retailer, it means spending an enormous amount of time and money verifying that their products comply. This includes items that they have in stock.
  • For the manufacturer, it means additional costs that may put them under - especially the smaller manufacturers. For others it may mean no longer selling in the US market.

My thoughts...

With one law we have seen the complexity of this issue. It is not just about safer products. It is also about our economy. I want to see safer products in our stores more than anyone. We should not have to worry about things like lead, phthalates and BPA in products that our children play with, wear, or is absorbed into their skin. However, is this law the answer or are more companies going to go under, including those who have been dedicated to providing healthier alternatives all along but can't afford the testing? Let's not punish those who have worked so hard to provide families with better choices. We have always been about bringing healthier options to our customers both online and in our store locally in Apex, NC. We search out products that do not contain harmful chemicals. It is the core belief that our store was built upon. Here are just a few of the items that you can find at GreenPea Nursery: stainless steel sippy cups, Green Toys, organic clothing, safe feeding products, Greenguard Certified cribs, Naturepedic organic mattresses, and green cleaning supplies.

What is a Mom to Do?

Sometimes life can be so confusing. You hear one report say one thing and then the next week someone says something else. Where is a mom to turn? Are plastic bottles safe? Now they are saying that Bisphenol A can leak out of can linings and into your food? Should I just throw out everything plastic and all my can food. Do I donate my cans to a food drive knowing that they contain this controversial chemical? I just bought a new can opener--I guess I will not need that anymore. What do I say the next time I go to the dentist and they want to put sealants on my child's teeth? That's right--BPA is in dental sealants. Where do I turn?

According to an article in The Green Guide, "The Bisphenol-A Debate: A Suspect Chemical in Plastic Bottles and Cans" by Catherine Zandonella1

Here it what we know:

  • BPA was found in 95% of Americans that were a part of a biomonitoring study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2004.
  • It can be found in can linings of food and soda, dental sealants and baby and other bottles (polycarbonate)
  • BPA mimics naturally occurring estrogen. These hormones control things like the brain and reproductive systems in a developing fetus.
  • Frederick vom Saal, Ph.D., a developmental biologist at the University of Missouri published a paper that showed the following results:
  • Industry Funded Studies - 11 in total - 100% found no harmful effects from BPA
  • Government-Funded Low-Dose Studies - 104 in total - 90% found harmful effects from BPA

All I can say is hmmm!

There is no doubt that we are exposed to this chemical. Yet it all comes down to the "safe levels." The FDA has stated that the chemical is not harmful.

According to the Washington Post, a very critical report was released today that stated that the FDA did not use adequate margins of safety in their assessment of BPA. They did not use enough infant formula samples and did not take into consideration a multitude of studies that linked BPA to health problems in animals such as prostrate cancer. For the full Washington Post article click here.

For the complete report click here.

Personally, while the FDA is trying to figure out what level of a known hormone disrupting chemical is safe enough for my children to be exposed to, I think I will take matters into my own hands and reduce our exposure as much as I can. Here are some of the things that we have done around our house.

GreenPea Solution:

1) Remove plastic storage containers from your home. If you can't remove them all at once, remove the ones that are showing wear (cloudiness, rough texture, stains, cracks).

2) Buy soup in cardboard cartons.

3) Never use a plastic container in the microwave. Use glass or ceramic.

4) Use waxed paper or a paper towel to cover food rather than plastic wrap.

5) Make sure that the bottles and sippy cups that you buy state that they are BPA free. We carry the Safe Sippy which is a stainless steel sippy cup as well as BPA free plates and utensils.